July 5, 2012 by Rebecca Avison
So I wouldn’t say I have a lot of free time this summer. As interns, we work 8-5 each day, which means I wake up at seven. And because I have to wake up around seven, this means I usually try to go to bed at a reasonable hour (say twelve). Add in dinner and seeing friends and the days just fly by. However, even with the busy schedule I have found time to watch one of my favorite new, but really actually old, TV shows called American Dreams.
If you’re not familiar with the show I’ll give you some background. It’s a family drama set in Philadelphia (close enough to my hometown, West Chester if you were pondering) during the 1960s. It chronicles the Pryor family and their four children.
- JJ, the eldest, is a star athlete who joins the Marines to fight in Vietnam.
- Meg, the eldest girl, is in high school, and is a regular on Bandstand (American music show with host Dick Clark).
- Patty, the youngest girl, is exceptionally bright, but doesn’t really fit in with her family or friends.
- Will, the youngest boy, has polio because his parents did not trust the vaccine when it came out.
The family deals with many of the issues of the time first hand, like the assassination of JFK, the race riots in Philadelphia, and the Vietnam War. The show also incorporates an African American family whose father, Henry, works for Mr. Pryor in his television and radio store. The relationship between Henry and Mr. Pryor demonstrates the changing relationships between blacks and whites and highlights the race issues of the times. Another main reason I really like the show is because Mrs. Pryor is used to highlight the role of women during the time and how they were changing their roles in society. She deals with issues such as being a stay-at-home mom, deciding to go back to school, and the issues of birth control.
There are three main reasons I love this show!
3. It teaches you about history. Its great to be able to watch a family really deal with issues that I have learned about in textbooks. Now don’t get me wrong, I know this is a TV show and all, but it still sheds a lot of light on what was going on at the time and the attitudes and actions of individuals.
2. The family drama aspect. I have always wanted to have a big family. I have a twin brother but that’s it (I mean he’s ok, most of the time)…. BUT I have always wanted an older brother and older sister, as well as a younger brother and younger sister. Basically, I wanted it all, every possible relationship. By watching American Dreams, I get to have these relationships (with fictional characters of course).
1. The old school music. I love oldies, and this show is chock full of them. Watching your favorite actors play Aretha Franklin, the Beatles, and Tom Jones, it doesn’t get much better than this!
So if your looking for a new, kinda old show to watch this summer, I would 100 percent suggest American Dreams. Beware: it is a little corny but absolutely fabulous nonetheless!